Locals get a taste of the film business
Movie producer taps online resources to finance independent project
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Sunday, Oct 07, 2012 06:00 am
Roman, Kat and Lee are just three everyday kind of people, but when they plan on intercepting a diamond heist, it looks like the security of an entire nation might be at risk.
That’s the plot of Rock Paper Dice Enter, an Edmonton-made independent film produced and directed by Shreela Chakrabartty. Rock stands for the diamonds. Paper is for information. Dice stands for chance and Enter refers to technology.
Now that the film is in post-production, Chakrabartty has a chance to step back and take a look at the footage and see how well she can put the story together.
“I’m just getting to see if I have a film or not,” she laughed, a hint of experience in her voice suggesting that she’s been in worse situations before.
“It’s looking good,” she reassured.
When Chakrabartty wears her producer’s hat though, she also has to worry about the messy business of money. As an independent filmmaker, the financial aspect is never easy but it’s still something she remains hopeful about. Since she’s creative, she and partner Kash Gauni have resorted to a novel but growing method of movie financing: crowd funding.
Using the vast resources of the Internet, Chakrabartty and Gauni have linked up with Indiegogo, a website that allows anyone anywhere to raise funding for their projects, whatever they might be. Rock Paper Dice Enter isn’t the only film in the listings. There are also community action projects, business proposals, book ideas and everything in between.
“Everybody loves going to the movies and not everybody has the chance to participate in the making of a movie, which crowdsource funding enables you to do. It’s like selling penny stocks. For a buck, you can buy a share in this movie.”
Of the $40,000 the producers hope to raise to cover the costs of professional services and equipment rental, only slightly more than $3,600 has come in so far. Chakrabartty doesn’t balk at the prospect, only realizes that the word needs to get out farther and faster. The deadline comes up on Thursday, Oct. 11 at midnight.
To help prod prospective funders into action, there are different incentives for different levels of support. For instance, characters from the film will give you shout outs and offer film updates through social media for only $2. You can download the entire soundtrack for $10. Every donation between $1 and $1,000 (sponsor level) gets you something different.
For more information visit www.rockpaperfilms.com. There you can link to the film’s Facebook page and, of course, its Indiegogo account. Chakrabartty expects Rock Paper Dice Enter to be released sometime in February 2013.
Behind the scenes
The project had some local filmmaking talents helping out as well. St. Albert residents Chase Gardiner and Katie Golbert both helped out with camera operating, while Cathy Jorden served as the costume designer and wardrobe technician.
Jorden’s previous experience working on theatre productions helped her to get up to speed quickly for this, her first involvement with film, which unfolds at a faster pace, she said.
“You don’t have the rehearsal times in movies like you do in theatre to test out the costumes on the actors. You just have to hope it works out,” she said.
Even though she did most of her work at home instead of on set, she still learned a great deal about how movies are made.
“I loved meeting the actors and watching them interpret their characters on set, then peeking at the camera to see the scene they just shot,” she said. “It looks so much different behind a camera. I especially noticed how different costumes look on camera. It's amazing what you can and can't hide.”
She explained that there are many visible details that aren’t important to the viewer. Jorden improvised on some characters’ uniforms, she said, and it came out OK.
“On camera, nobody is going to notice,” she said. “In fact I had a few people tell me that they look like real police and fire chief jackets.”